A fourth advantage relates to Goods in transit. In fact, the use of the network usually leads to effects that their participants do not directly desire. These external effects can be “positive” or “negative” (respectively, favorable or unfavorable for network users).
They can also be directly or indirectly related to the number of people participating in the network. For example, traffic jams occurring on peripheral boulevards during peak hours are directly related to the number of road network users. Conversely, the complementarity of proposals (for example, in terms of transport and logistics) offered by network members is an indirect and positive appearance.
In the context of a group of carriers, positive external effects (direct or indirect) can be obtained. The most obvious direct appearance is the fame that the network gains as the number of its members increases. We can also inform about the exchange of information between network members, the experience of one of the participants is automatically transferred to all other participants. These are direct positive externalities that are widely recognized by trucking networks. Indirect external effects are more difficult to identify because they are not directly generated by network members.
In the field of road freight transport, the network reduces the so-called “logistics made simple” risks. These are risks that arise when “information asymmetries” exist, in other words, when people are informed to various degrees about the exact content of the service provided. Obviously, the one who performs the service knows about it better than the one who orders it. Thus, the risk of an unfavorable choice incurred by the sponsor is that the service provider provides a service that does not match the desired sponsor. Therefore, the driver can choose a route that is not the one that the manager wants. The carrier can provide a quality service lower than the shipper wishes, etc.
These so-called “anti-selective” risks can be reduced by networked SMEs for both shippers and network members. In fact, belonging to the network involves the adoption of a certain number of quality standards. A shipper who accesses the network knows that the latter is committed to the quality of the services provided. By entrusting his network cargo, the shipper reduces the risk of adverse selection. From the same point of view, an operator who is a member of the network can trust the service provided by another participant in the network.
The most obvious difficulty that arises is the cultural (and linguistic, if it is an international network) heterogeneity of network members. Each company generates its corporate culture, the vector of its identity.
The unwillingness of SMEs to put their fleets in the colors of the network is evidence of this. However, corporate culture leads to certain behavioral practices on the part of operators, the existence of their own know-how. The larger the company, the stronger and more specific its internal culture. Therefore, networking is faced with diverse, diverse corporate cultures that are not without flaws in the eyes of shippers.
Of course, there are standards for standardizing services, but they cannot do anything against cultural characteristics. This problem, unimportant when services are very common (full group transportation), is more serious when a service takes on an increasingly technical dimension, for example, when grouping / dividing or transporting hazardous materials. Therefore, a network will exist only if it succeeds in uniting these diverse cultures around a common structuring cultural project.
From the same point of view, the enterprise is both an autonomous entity and a dependent member of the network community. Consequently, conflicts may arise between his “personal” interest and his interest in being a member of the network, for example, such as freight priority problems when the network operates with fixed delivery times. How does a company deal with this type of conflict? The problem is not insurmountable in the network, but again it creates organizational costs that put pressure on the company.
Goods in transit or goods controlled by global logistics is a separate segment of transportation when goods are on the road. Thanks to the organization of such transportations, there was a need for additional rules, but also new opportunities for consumers appeared.